How to hide Windows 7 partition from XP?


Active Member
Newbie alert!

I installed my Windows 7 64-bit upgrade into a 2nd primary partition of my Drive 0, the 1st partition being XP Pro x64. This resulted in a dual boot setup which on the surface works OK, but in fact anytime I boot into the XP partition my Windows 7 System Restore points get deleted! MS says "too bad you shouldn't have done that" or some such and is no help; apparently I should NOT have installed Win7 onto another partition of the same hard drive.

I tried in XP to use Disk Manager to remove W7's drive letter, but XP somehow sees that W7 partition anyway and deletes restore points. Naturally (I suppose) the XP partition remains the System partition which is where the Win7 boot data is located I understand.

Is there any way to use EasyBCD and/or another Multibooter so that the Win7 partition is completely hidden when booting from XP?

If not, can I use EasyBCD to modify my setup to make the Win7 partition the System partition, with all the boot data? I'm considering just asserting the Win7 partition and deleting XP altogether, or putting it onto a separate (external) drive perhaps.

Thanks for any advice!


The view from Win7 courtesy EasyBCD 2.0b76

There are a total of 2 entries listed in the bootloader.

Default: Windows 7
Timeout: 30 seconds.
EasyBCD Boot Device: C:\

Entry #1
Name: Earlier Version of Windows
BCD ID: {ntldr}
Device: \Device\HarddiskVolume1
Bootloader Path: \ntldr

Entry #2
Name: Windows 7
BCD ID: {current}
Drive: C:\
Bootloader Path: \Windows\system32\winload.exe
In XP make sure system restore is only turned on for the XP partition and any partition where XP apps are installed (if different), then try this registry hack
In W7, make sure that system restore is likewise, only on for W7 and its apps.
(from the above, it follows that you cannot install apps for both OSs on a shared partition).
Any partition which is purely user data can be shared, but should not have system restore turned on from either OS.

The hack seems to work for most people (but not for all - me included).
If it doesn't work for you, you can use NST's HnS, which will dynamically hide/unhide W7 depending on which OS you want to boot.
(Treat W7 as "Vista". HnS predates W7 but the bootloaders are the same, so it still works)
Thanks Terry60. I had tried that MountedDevices Offline hack and it didn't work for me either, but then after disparaging MS yesterday with my post above, I re-read their own kb on it (this one) and decided to try it one last time. And this last time it appears to have worked--can't tell you why, I'm good at following instructions--and now in XP's System Restore setup dialog I see the Windows7 partition is shown as "Offline". The bad news: somehow all of my XP Restore points went-away with this last "successful" attempt! :rage:

Dunno why I'd not found HnS in all my searching but am very glad to know it exists--I will try it if I experience any further anomalies with this setup. Thanks VERY MUCH!!!
All restore points up to the offline reg add are lost. You need to create a new restore point and reboot to test if its working.
A followup question please: how to assert the W7 partition as the System partition? Currently the WIndows Boot Manager is on the XP partition; I'm worried that when XP goes south then W7 will fail to load.

How can I fix this so all that W7 needs to boot itself is on the W7 partition and it becomes the System partition?
EasyBCD 2.0 latest build /diagnostics / change boot drive
Wow that was easy. If you had ANY IDEA how many hours I have spent researching & hand-wringing over this...! :tongueout:

I had to re-create the WinXP entry, and ntldr is now on the Win7 partition instead of the XP partition where I might've guessed it would go, but it all seems to work, Win7 is now my System drive, and I'm prepared for that day when I might remove XP from this machine altogether.

Thanks Terry60 again--you are a gentleman and a scholar sir! :joy:
Glad you're OK.
EasyBCD will have copied NTLDR (and all other necessary boot files) into the "system" partition for you when you let it auto-configure as you added the XP entry.
That's the MS design. Multiple Windows OSs all boot from "system". (so that's where all the boot files for all the systems must be). Normally that's the oldest OS because it was already "system" when the others turned up.
If you subvert the MS "natural order" and make the newer OS "system", then all the older system's boot files have to be copied across. Easy2 does it all for you.